What Employees Need to Know
To work effectively and achieve optimum results, a number of communications techniques should be considered and utilized. Which one is used depends on the situation. This section will outline the different methods and when to use them.
The biggest benefit of face-to-face communication is that it's personal and bidirectional. When you interact directly with someone, it’s easier to build rapport and enhance trust. Also, speaking in person, you can pick up on nonverbal cues that would be missed by sending an email. In-person meetings can be formal or informal. Some examples of both:
- All-staff (“big picture”) meeting – Helps employees understand their department’s goals and how their work fits into the big picture. Held annually or semi-annually.
- Department-wide meeting – For unexpected but important messages that have broad impact, use on an as-needed basis. For comprehensive messages such as a “State of the University” address, hold annually.
- Workgroup or staff meeting – For information sharing, updating, assigning tasks. Most effective when held weekly or bi-weekly.
As a formal meeting organizer, you should create an agenda that lets attendees know what topics will be discussed and helps keep the meeting focused.
- Brown-bag gatherings – Typically held during the lunch hour, brown-bag events are casual ways to host a speaker, hold discussions or present information.
- Town hall meetings – Held at various times during the year. Faculty and staff are invited to submit questions in advance for the chancellor or other members of the leadership team regarding campus operations and policies, fiscal or workplace concerns, current events, etc. More information on town halls and previous recordings can be found here.
Common Communication Channels
Email can be effective because it’s immediate, can reach a mass audience fairly quickly and provides information in writing. It can have drawbacks, as well. There are diminishing returns when email is used too frequently. People often tend to ignore emails when they receive too many or when the content is too long or too complex. Also, the tone of an email may be misconstrued by the person reading it or technology glitches may prevent the email from reaching its intended audience.
As with all communications, it is important to be intentional and strategic about the use of mass email. Questions to consider:
- Why send a mass email?
- Are there other solutions that might work better?
- Who are the intended recipients of the email?
- Are there ways to narrow the audience pool to ensure that only those people who need to know are contacted?
Whether electronic or printed, newsletters offer an ideal medium for sharing information with a broader audience on a regular, scheduled basis and also help drive your audience to important and helpful resources on your website. Items may include news, events, projects of importance or interest, accolades, policy changes or strategic updates.
Websites, Connect and social media
- Websites – Information and news can be posted to a department’s or division’s website after it has been delivered by another means (email, presentation or meeting). You can also submit events via the events calendar and then import a listing of your department's events directly to a page on your website. Click here to request your own events calendar.
- Connect App – Connect users can access information, applications, services and information relevant to the UC Merced community. Users can place news, information and other resources on the portal to share internally. Click here for more information.
- Social media – Fast and immediate way to disseminate non-critical information that can also engage employees and students. Each site owner should have a dedicated person who is responsible for monitoring social media sites for questions, comments and feedback.
Both social media and websites that feature news and events should be routinely updated so sites appear active and engaging.
To reduce paper waste, UC Merced has an array of digital sign kiosks posted across campus. Your promotion can go the extra mile when you submit your flyers and graphics to be posted digitally. Be sure that your document is in PDF format and fits either of the following parameters. Shortened URLs and QR codes work best for digital signs and both can be created using this tool, provided by OIT.
- 960x540 for landscape orientation
- 782x1012 for portrait orientation
Contact email@example.com with any questions about promoting your items to the internal UC Merced community or to request a presentation of our services to your team or unit.